If you’re looking at growing (or even just starting) an online dietetic, RDN, Integrative Health, or other health-focused business, then it’s likely that you already know how important online leads can be to your success.
As an entrepreneur with a lead generation campaign, it’s important to understand that being a good business owner isn’t just about having great ideas and working hard. It also means knowing how to market yourself as well as your products or services. While there are thousands of ways to reach potential clients, one of the most effective is by using the proven marketing strategies I’m sharing with you today.
The Basics Of Lead Gen for Health Professionals
Lead generation is a set of techniques designed to attract potential clients to your site, regardless of your niche. Both offline and online lead generation can add huge value to your practice by providing more leads for you to contact and convert into clients!
Health professionals who focus on getting quality leads and don’t get distracted by the latest social media bandwagon or confused by complicated software are going to do better in the long run.
Your main focus should be generating quality leads for your business!
If you want to learn more about how to make sure you’re doing everything possible to boost your healthcare niche…
Proven Lead Generation Strategies for Your Practice
Before you can nail down what lead generation strategy works best for your healthcare practice, you need to decide what your goals and budget are.
There are several types of lead generation strategies that I recommend and use:
- Social Media Marketing
- Content Creation & Distribution
- Email Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Lead Nurturing
- Referrals from Other Healthcare Providers
- Directories focused on the medical industry
- Directories focused on health care outcomes
- Online reviews
While there are many ways to fill your sales funnel with potential patients and clients, I recommend choosing one or two strategies to test them for qualified leads before adding a new lead source to your toolbelt.
So which lead gen strategy should you start with?
I recommend social media! Clinicians, dietitians, chiropractors, and physicians all over the world are tapping into the power of social media platforms. With social media marketing, you can reach people both locally and worldwide!
While there are many social media platforms to choose from, I suggest that you start off with one or two of the biggest social media platforms; Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.
Although new trends like TikTok and Snapchat may be enticing, the vast majority of users are on tried-and-true Facebook.
Here are some key points to remember when choosing between these different lead generation tactics:
Social Media Marketing (SMM): You can promote your practice through social media at no cost! Most social platforms allow you to promote your business through your (free) business profile. That is also where your clients or students can leave a positive review for potential clients to see the results they can expect when working with you.
Facebook has a lot of features to help you schedule your posts both on Facebook and Instagram right through your business dashboard. You can also create live stream events, have regular live educational videos, and more.
Content Creation & Distribution: This involves creating high-quality content for specific audiences on multiple platforms, including social media. Once you create your content, distribute it across various channels like your website, newsletter, social media channels, and anywhere else you can freely share your content.
The goal is to get more people to see your content so that it reaches its intended audience.
The great thing about creating content is it doesn’t cost you anything but your time! Content can be anything from podcasts, blog posts, videos, audios, workbooks, meal plans, e-books, and more.
Sometimes, sharing content may be outside of your comfort zone and that’s completely normal. Sharing your experience and expertise isn’t being boastful. You are helping your audience when you shine your light!
Email Marketing: Email marketing is one of the most popular (and lucrative) lead generation strategies today. It allows you to send messages directly to your target audience, right in their inbox.
With email marketing, you can craft a simple sales funnel by sending automated promotional emails when someone signs up for your newsletter.
An email marketing funnel is a way to automate your sales process so that your new subscribers know exactly how you can help them and what you have to offer to your prospective patients and clients.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): SEO is the process of improving the visibility of your web page or blog in search engines like Google and Bing. A higher ranking improves the chances of getting visitors to your website.
For example, if a potential client was searching for an alternative treatment of asthma and your website has quality content, your website will show up in the search results. When your website is one of the first to show up in their search results, it gives your potential patients and clients confidence in the health care outcomes you provide.
Good news for you, most business owners in the healthcare industry focus more on traditional advertising methods like commercials, print ads, and radio ads so there isn’t too much competition to reach the top of Google!
Lead Nurturing: As soon as someone visits your website, your goal is to turn them into a lead. For example, if you have a newsletter, you may include additional content in each issue to encourage potential patients to enroll in a program, try a new treatment protocol, or book an office visit.
Sometimes the sales process takes a while. It’s not uncommon for someone to be on your email list for a year before they decide to trust you. While social media marketing is a lot more visible than email marketing, your email list is where you will get most of your sales. This is especially true if your business is primarily online or if you have a hybrid model (both online and clinical visits).
As a matter of fact, 4 out of 5 email marketing experts said they’d rather give up social media than email marketing if they had to choose only one! After all, the return on investment for email marketing is huge. According to Oberlo, for every $1 you spend, you can expect an average return of $42!
How to Get Started Generating High-Quality Leads
The first step is knowing where to start. I recommend that you start small and build up over time.
That being said, there are ways to jumpstart your lead-gen efforts. These include:
- Build a Solid Foundation – Don’t try to scale overnight. Start with one or two sources, then expand gradually.
- Use Technology – Use technology to your advantage. Leverage tools to save time and increase efficiency.
- Grow Organically – Don’t rely solely on paid advertising. Grow your audience on your social media platforms as well as your email by posting regularly and sending newsletters on a schedule.
- Learn From Others – Find out what your competitors are doing! Sign up for their email newsletter and follow them on your favorite social media platforms. Your goal isn’t to “copy” them. It’s to see what strategy is working and be inspired by it.
- Keep It Simple – Keep things simple. Focus on creating authentic relationships with your email list and social media followers.
Keep Your Audience In Mind
Your audience and potential patients or clients should be at the forefront of everything you do. When generating leads, make sure you understand who you are targeting and why.
What are they looking for? Are your ideal clients looking for a quick fix or a long-term solution? Are they interested in alternative treatments or do they prefer more mainstream solutions? Do they need a group program or would a one-on-one package be a better fit for the problems you solve?
When you have multiple offers or packages, you will need to ask yourself which one of your offers you are promoting for that particular post or newsletter and then ask yourself the above questions before creating your content.
At the end of the day, you want to know how best to reach your audience so that you can connect with them and position yourself as the solution to their problem.
Does Paid Advertising Work to Generate Quality Leads?
If you want to quickly grow your business and generate leads, paid advertising may be the way to go. Paid search ads (also known as PPC) are text-based ads that appear at the top of results from a particular keyword. These are often seen on Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
PPC campaigns usually cost between $10-100 dollars per day. The higher the bid, the lower the likelihood of being shown in organic search results. But if you spend enough money, you might be able to drive significant traffic to your site.
You can also advertise on social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and even TikTok.
Whether you are advertising on search engines or social media, you can target your intended audience by geographic region, interests, professional association, and other demographics that fit your niche.
You don’t need a huge sales team to put this together for you.
There are online advertising agencies to specialize in helping people with a medical practice, chiropractic practice, dietetic practice, integrative health, and other health care professionals. They will fill your sales pipeline with qualified leads for a reasonable monthly fee. Keep in mind that their fee does not (usually) include your advertising budget.
Supercharge Your Referral Network
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the options available to grow your health practice. If you’re looking for ways to expand your client base and increase revenue, lean into your referral network.
Experienced practice builders know that referrals are the absolute BEST kind of lead to get.
You can turn your existing network of doctors, nurses, dentists, chiropractors, physical therapists, massage therapists, acupuncturists, naturopaths, and other healthcare professionals into a powerful referral network.
Aside from other health care professionals, current or prior clients are an amazing source for referrals. When you have an exceptional quality of care in your clinical practice or outstanding outcomes in your online programs, people are happy to share you with their friends.
One way to do this is to feature testimonials and success stories on your website and social media. This gives potential patients and clients the confidence that you get results.
If you include a quick survey as part of your follow-up procedure, that is an easy way to get systematic reviews for your practice without any extra work on your part.
Focus on What Works for Your Health Practice
Once you have insights about what works well for you, you can fine-tune your approach and create a plan for continuous growth.
Remember to start small. Focus on getting your online reviews visible for the world to see, showing up on your social media platform of choice, creating high-quality content, and emailing your existing email subscribers regularly.
As your business grows, you will be able to track trends in your lead gen efforts so you can have a better idea of what works for your audience.
Regardless of your area of expertise, health and medical professionals are rarely taught how to market their business! Clinical training is focused on health care outcomes and quality of care – not filling a sales pipeline or teaching people how to be healthcare marketers.
Of course, there are a ton of sales methodologies you can use to convert your new leads into clients but I’ll save that for another post!
Still Stuck? Get Help!
Download my “7 FREE Lead Gen Tools for RDNs, Nutritionists, NDs, and Integrative Practitioners” here.
This toolkit will help you:
- Find more clients
- Supercharge your referral network
- Help more people
- Make more money
- And more!